Patchy comeback from earthquake

Japan's car makers reported mixed vehicle production figures yesterday, as the industry works toward recovery from the March's devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Toyota posted a 9.2 per cent fall in global production to 593,839 vehicles, a vast improvement on the 49 per cent plunge it recorded in May.

The company said that output should return to near pre-earthquake levels this month and predicted it would reach full production later this year.

Meanwhile, Nissan made a record 419,831 vehicles worldwide, up 19 per cent on a year ago.

Honda is facing a tougher comeback. Its output in June fell 44.5 per cent from last year to 168,373 vehicles, below Suzuki Motor, usually its smaller rival.